T Nation

TX_iron: Channel the Inner Caveman

Edit: I am now training for stuff. Specifically, BJJ and battle on the Brazos strongman competition in Waco, TX

Westside for skinny Bastards, Washed-up meathead.
6 feet tall; 180-185lbs; 29 years old.

Bench: 245x5
Box squat: 300x3

Bench: 255x3
Box Squat: 315x3

CG Bench: 245x3
Front Squat: 245x3 (bad day)

CG Bench: 245x5 (after 175lb press)
SSB squat: 315x2

Floor press: 265x2, 275x1 (pr)
Squat: 315x3 (pr)

Floor press: ramp to 245x5, rpe 10
Pull-ups: 5 sets of 8, pyramid to +45lbs

DB incline: 12, 10, 8
Landmine abs & v-ups
Rope curls

30 minutes cycle


  • I’m doing BJJ 2 times/week, and on every upper body session I condition. My favorite is tabata with tires and the C2 rower.

  • I was training strongman, and have a few comps under my belt. However after picking up bjj, due to time and recovery one had to take a back seat.

  • due to a wrist injury (bjj) I cant do any supinated work with my right hand.

Thoughts: I’m not really training for anything, I just want to be in better shape in my 30s than I was in my 20s. I turn 30 in a few months. If a cool comp comes up, be it a marathon, a strongman comp, a CrossFit comp, or a spontaneous fight in a Thai ring, I’ll probably go for it.

I keep trying to venture back toward 531 but get way too bogged down. Ws4sb is my go-to. My focus right now is to “bodybuild the upper, athlete the lower,” which ironically came from Jim Wendler. Not dogging 531 by any stretch, we just don’t jive. I love me some variety.



In for your new log!

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Thanks! Logging is going to be far more sporadic in this go around, so apologies in advance for the bumpy ride.

Me lower
Squat - ramped to 315x3, 335x1 (smooth)
Deadlift - 10x3 with 315+65lbs chain
kB step ups w 55lb bell
Leg curls

RE upper
Went DC style and felt the pump, finished with some cycling

ME upper
Incline ramped to 185x5, 205x3 (rpe 9)
Ring chins
Trx rear delt

Db Bench - 85s x10,6,3

Tabata row.

Also I got stomped in bjj last night.

Ha no worries man, im already subscribed to heaps of logs and i get tonnesof notifications so its allgood.

So a little behind here…

Still on ws4sb

this week


Incline- ramped to 205 x3
Incline plate machine - 4x10 w 5 second negative
Lots of chins, rows, face pulls, and guns.
Bjj- takedowns, and grappled hard for a total of 24 minutes. I never left the mat. Conditioning is getting SO much better.


Bjj- more takedowns and leglocks, and grappled for 3 consecutive 6 minute rounds

Frankenstein squat- ramp to 225x3
Front squat- ramp to 275x3
180# sandbag to shoulder - emom 12x1
Back raise holding two 70lb DBs - 25 total reps
Step-ups holding two 25lb KB - 3x15

Notes: in my health exam yesterday morning I weighed in (pre breakfast) at 183, and body fat around 11%. Lean Bulking is going well.

Notes: on paper, it seems like my progress is stalling. But, I’m getting consistent numbers while significantly upping the amount of grappling I’m doing. If I came in fresh & hit the same numbers, that might be an indicator of stalling. But that’s not what’s happening. I’m coming in with a lot of cumulative fatigue and tying or even beating old prs.

Am about two weeks into creatine though, so there’s a factor worth considering.

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Ramped to 245x4 on pin bench, pins set 1” above chest

Bjj, 3 consecutive 6 minute rounds of grappling

Front squats - ramp to 280x1
Grenade pull-ups - 20 reps
180# sandbag to shoulder - 4 reps, the it popped
RDLs - 315x 13,8,4 (rest pause)
1 mile row

Bjj - worked on Darce chokes
4 x 6minute consecutive rounds grappling

realized via my coach that I often find myself in a position to go for a head-arm triangle, but I never execute. That’s my goal for next time. I’m really learning how to use my legs like a monkey too lol.

Bench - 185 x 17(PR), 8, 8
Pull-ups 50 reps
Seated one arm shoulder press -50x8,8 40x12
Hanging leg raises-3x10
Curls, triceps, rear delts
15 minutes bike

Notes: 186 bodyweight this afternoon, & I’m looking lean & mean. Wife told me yesterday “whatever you’re doing, it’s working.”


Last week
531 strongman (new version)

Day 1
Front squats: ramp to 235x5
Ohp: ramp to 125x8 (poverty much?)
Machine incline: 5x10
Carries w dumbbell

Day 2
Hang clean: ramp to145?x10
Deadlift: ramp to 335x10
Cg Bench: 185# 3x10, 135# 2x10
Biceps, hammies

Day 3
Hang clean & press: 185# 3x5
Sandbag to shoulder: 185# 3x4

And of course some BJJ. Just earned a 3rd stripe on my white belt. Chipping away.

I did get told on Wednesday that [older guy]: “you are the strongest human being I’ve ever seen here. I’ve never seen a bar bend like that in real life, only on tv.”

I know, big fish small pond, but it was a real pick-me-up.

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Cycle 1, week 2

Day 1
Press: ramp to 135x8, 95x15 in 60 seconds
Front squat: ramp to 245x6
Lots of grenade pull-ups & dips+45lbs
180# sandbag carries

Day 2

Day 3
BJJ - worked on oma plata, grappled 2 rounds

Day 4
Hang cleans: ramped to 165x8, 135x10
Deadlift: ramped to 345x10
Leg curls, grenade pull-ups, dips

BJJ - more oma plata, then 3 rounds grappling

Day 5
Medley: 5 rounds, push press 2x205, KB press 2x55s
Landmine junk
I still need to get in curls

Notes: I don’t have an axle, so I’m hitting grenade pull-ups hard. I can do like 6 now (for comparison I can churn out 15+ chins in a set).

No training this weekend, we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary!

Happy anniversary man!

Thanks man! I can’t believe it’s been a year already

Congrats on the third stripe. That’s where I’m at right now too but I’ve been out for almost a month with a foot sprain. Congrats on the anniversary too.

I’ll be following along keep up the jits my dude.

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Thanks man, time flies when your having fun & getting your butt kicked. You’ll be blue soon enough man. Bummer about the foot. Can you still drill a little with some modifications?

& thanks again, we’ve got a big weekend planned, even though she’s got to study for a lot of it.

Will do man! I’ve lurked around the combat section as well too For tips & tricks.

I probably could, but I’ve been using the downtime to be a bum and spend more time with my soon-to-be 18 year old kid along with spending way too much time in front of a computer.

Belts are funny. I’m not really looking forward to blue, but I’ll get it when my instructor wants to give it to me. I’ve already got a target on me since I’m bigger and stronger than everyone I train with, and being a blue belt will only up the percentage of my rolls that involve younger guys trying to murder me. I’m sure you can relate. One guy I train with is roughly your age, size and strength and he gives people real problems. I find him to be a joy to grapple with, but I’m also a big goon who welcomes the discomfort of good technique joining forces with physical attributes.

BJJ aside, It’s funny how things pan out across our lives and across the internet. A few hours after I posted in your training log I had an exchange with a guy who opened a strongman gym 30 min away and he invited me to come on down to train. I have a lot of love for strongman and everyone who does it so I’m definitely planning on taking him up on that as soon as this foot of mine heals up.

I’m also missing what I intended to be my first BJJ tournament tomorrow due to said injury, but that’s just life.

So I may win the award for the most delayed reply.

Yeah I totally get it. Also I feel like folks are a little loose when it comes to safety while rolling against higher belts, since it’s somewhat assumed they can mitigate risks.

I’ve been making a note to weight train before bjj, so I don’t have the same strength reserves needed to power through otherwise good technique, since I have a history of being too reliant on it.

Since this reply is a month late, have you hit up the strongman gym? I’m not elite in either clearly, though I feel the two compliment each other well. The bjj offers mobility and nasty conditioning, while SM gets you strong in a lot of angles.

The last month I’ve been going 1x/week, just so much going on right now. I’m in external affairs and after hours meetings have been ramping up with some projects we have going on.


I went through two cycles of the new 531 strongman. I hit a deadlift PR if 375x10, and a front squat with 275x4.

I took a whole week off (Deload coincided with lots of travel last week), and am doing a modified 531 beach body for my anchor.

Anchor cycle is:

Day 1
Front squat: 5s pro
Overhead: TM for reps
Sandbag to shoulder: 2 sets
50 curls

Day 2
Front squat: TM for reps
Deadlift: 5s pro
Overhead: 50 reps fsl
100 rows

Day 3
Hang clean: TM for reps, 3x5 fsl
Overhead: 5s pro
Front squat: widowmaker
50 rope chins

Bjj: shooting for 2x/week, 1 gi, 1 no gi


Front squat: ramp to 265x 3,1,1 (rp)
Overhead: ramp to 205x2
180# Bag-to-shoulder: 5 reps, 4 reps
Laying curls: 50 reps

one month out from battle on the brazos. So I’m officially in the roster @flipcollar, see you there.

Not yet. My foot sprain is kind of good to go for jits, but still hurts pretty much all the time. I’ve not been back to my regular class, just a bunch of one-on-one sessions with my brown belt friend and a few other people who sometimes show up. It’s been smashed a few times, which really hurts, and slashed open last week by a guy who didn’t trim his toenails (and didn’t have a good mount escape besides flailing with his feet to defeat my hooks). My brown belt buddy is a physical therapist though, and he says that I’m unlikely to re-injure it in jits.

Otherwise it has been good to learn how to make a lot of stuff work without using a whole lot of my left foot. Bridging off of my heel instead of my toes, being really light on it when standing, not contesting takedowns I otherwise would and making the most once I’m down, making other takedowns work in spite of it, not using live toes in side control, stuff like that.

I don’t feel ready to load it up with a lot of weight and I’m definitely not interested in seeing how loaded carry movements would play out, so I haven’t made it over to the strongman gym yet. I’ve just got really light and honestly pretty uninspired lifting going on right now in my basement gym. I don’t want to show up to a strongman gym and be like “hey I’d like to do yoke walks with you but I have an excuse not to”.

It’s too bad because Big Z is coming for a seminar and dinner on Friday. I’m tempted to go but I’d rather go train jits for free with the best player in an hour radius than spend the $80 to meet a celebrity and take a seminar on a sport I’ve never even tried.

Strongman’s still on the radar though. I’m counting the days until I can use my foot like a normal foot again.

Your deadlift PR is almost exactly what my buddy hit last cycle too (365x10). He finally took my advice and started 5/3/1 earlier this year, so I get messenger updates every time he PR’s, which is great fun for me. He’s also the spazzy white belt who slashed my toe open in jits last Friday! He’s a lot for my old ass to handle.

You two would be a great matchup on the mats. There’s not a lot of guys who are as strong as you guys are at your size training, not that I’ve seen. He’s been training with me and my instructor lately, and we are literally the only two people in his training circle who have a strength edge on him, which is good training for all of us.

He’s going to be a monster if he sticks with it, and so will you. Glad to see you back posting!

I may still end up going to watch, but I’m not gonna compete. I was in a car accident last Monday, been rehabbing from that. I haven’t been in the gym since then, and I haven’t been cleared by my doctor to get back in the gym. It should be an awesome show though, the roster looks great.

@twojarslave One on one sessions with a knowledgeable person though are a pretty sweet way to learn, and you don’t have to warn them about your injury over& over again.

A guy I roll with just made it to blue, but had been dealing with an elbow injury for months. He had avoided grappling & just drilled, but now that he’s got his arm in working condition he’s even more of a beast. We’re like the same size but he’s a little shorter and stalkier, and can crunch down like hell.

Yeah I feel ya man. Well, strongman isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so once you’re cleared you can partake in the misery.

Ha, man it sounds like he and I would have a fun match. Thanks for the vote of confidence. The sharp toenails thing is a tough one to navigate though, rolling is hard enough without razors involved. I love going with big fellas though since I can’t really muscle out of anything. This one guy, just under 50 I’d say and about 250lbs, is like fighting an oxen. My strategy when going with him is just to survive long enough for my conditioning to take over his lol.

@flipcollar damn I’m sorry to hear that man. Glad you weren’t seriously injured. You’ll bounce back. My buddy Orlando is competing as well in the SHW class, don’t know if y’all know each other. Give me a shout if you make it out there man.

Front squat

Ramp to 365x5

Superset for 10 rounds:
5x165lb neutral grip over head
5x225lb rows

More rows

1mile rower

Notes: TM for front squat is too high, but am not going to mess with it. I’m taking two weeks for travel over Xmas and will not train beyond some snowboarding.

Hit jitz on Tuesday and worked on chokes from side control, & grappled two 6 minute rounds.

Those 10x5 sets sucked so bad

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The one on one sessions have been huge for me. Too bad I don’t get “credit” for them with my other instructor, but I don’t really care about belts all that much. It’s been a long time since anyone below purple has tapped me out. Three times this year that I can recall. Two white belts who hit me with judo pins I hadn’t seen before and one blue belt about your age who got me fair and square in an arm triangle. Hundreds of hours of free one-on-one training with a four stripe brown belt is like a cheat code. Make friends with your mat people and maybe you’ll find someone who hosts open training at home!

That’s not a bad strategy at all with players of exceptional size, but some big guys have pretty decent gas tanks too! I’ll tell you what makes smaller guys murder me…

Depending on the size of their belly, you might want to avoid low-mount and try to play knee-on-belly. You’ll be more agile, so work on your walk-around drills to step over their head to the other side if they hip out big or try to shuck you off.

Most shorter guys can’t get both of their knees to the floor against me in low mount if I even slightly bridge. It is inherently unstable, making a trap-and-roll very easy along with a simple hip-out escape. All of a sudden they’re back on bottom with an oxen on top or trying to break out of an oxen’s guard before they get swept.

I was having so much success with mount escapes that I was letting people take mount from side control, which is bad jiu jitsu. I stopped that now to work on the appropriate positional escape, but it is still something I bait people into If I’m getting sick of side control and can’t make an escape work.

Knee on belly is a floating pin, so you can just stand up and walk around their head if they hip out big. It will also open up a lot of arm attacks if they don’t keep frames in. I’ve been murdered by that a lot too. I keep my frames in now!

Playing knee-on-belly, getting them to hip out to a side and then climbing right up to technical mount is how I try to play against the few guys who are bigger than me. I learned it because that’s how my instructor murders me. Over and over and over and over. I can’t stop him, probably never will, but the lessons are there for me.

Technical mount is great against anyone, but getting there against a big guy with a little bit of game will completely take their hips and arms out of the picture, and it doesn’t matter how unstable they are for you to play low mount on. Just skip low mount if you’re not stable in it. Once you’re in technical mount with the arms trapped, all that’s left is a hail-Mary use of leg momentum to try and shake you off.

Pick your poison from there, and don’t share my secrets with anyone in New England! Only two people have cracked the code for playing this game on me.

Enough chatter, time to go train! Outstanding work in here!

@twojarslave I’m feeling like an 1800’s pinpal here. Funny how things work out; my instructor has since left the school we were training at, and has invited us to come train with him Fight Club style early this year. It won’t count towards a belt or anything but like you, I’m not in it for the cotton.

Thanks for the tips! Next time I roll with a bigger opponent I’ll be sure to run it through my head. I was actually having issue with intentionally going onto my back so I could work my opponent with my knees, but I caught myself doing it too much/relinquishing the dominant start position, and have since been really trying to work on my takedowns.

I’m remiss to say that I haven’t rolled since my last post, but fully intend to take our instructor up on his offer once he gets settled-in.



So, the competition came and went; I came home with a 3rd/4.

Deadlift medley 450x2 trap bar, 405x2 axle, 405xamrap bar:

I got counted for 4/6 reps on the bar because I touch & Go’ed on two of the reps, which was explicitly forbidden. I spent too much time training T&G, so when the stars began to come into my vision my body did what I had been programming it to do. Time to buckle down & do some deadstop work. I’m extremely happy with the performance though still. Had it taken place in training, I’d have counted it as a 405x8 – a artillery shell of a lifetime PR for me! Also proof that submax work plus lots of posterior & back volume moves my deadlift.

ALSO - I have been training in chucks, and pulled in socks. I’ve heard Paul Carter talking about pulling in training from about a .5” deficit having big carryover, and I think that was a factor here. Going to keep training in shoes, and competing in socks.

200/240lb axle:

I thought I hit it twice (after a failed attempt with 240), but after seeing the results I zeroed. My lockout was questionable and it showed on the scoreboard. Going forward, I need to develop my damn tricep strength. Arm day? Finally, a good excuse.

200lb sandbag, 200lb keg over bar (sprint medley):

I won this event! I clocked-in at just over 30 seconds. The 2ndplace took 37 seconds. I went keg first, low carry. Up until this comp, I’ve always placed at the bottom of the pack during carries, so I’m glad to see this has now become a strength. I’ll coast on the carries for a while to focus on some weaker areas.

430lb Tire flip:

12 reps in a minute. Lost some time by flipping it in a weird direction, since it took a while to reset. I came in 3rd and the top guy got 14, so that lost time was too valuable for mistakes.

230lb stone over bar:

I only got it twice, top guy took 6-7. I hadn’t played with a real atlas stone in preparation, and it showed. I think a big issue here was leg strength. A 300lb front squat just isn’t going to cut it. On the bright side, upon reviewing the video the stone sits in my lap at parallel, so I don’t really need to go super deep.

All-in-all, I had a great time at the comp, and am looking forward to the next one

My goals are to get up to a lean 190lbs and boost my static strength, especially in my arms and legs. My training plan going forward is somewhat of a blend of Westside for Skinny Bastards 2 and full-blown conjugate. Hopefully sooner than later, I’ll get to the BJJ garage fight club & get some grappling in.

Weight: 176lbs (lost a LOT over the month of December, I always lose weight during vacation time)

Max Effort Upper (MU) 1

A1) Close-grip fat gripz bench – ramp to 225x3, 5x5 @ 175 (80%)

A2) Lots of chins (various grips)

Seal Dumbbell rows – 50, 25 RPDS*

Machine incline - rpds

Band triceps, plate curls, lateral raises

RPRP = A rest-pause set followed by a rest-pause drop set (6 total sets in succession)

Strongman Conditioning Day (SM) 1

Chest-high box jumps – 10 reps

5 rounds, 10 reps per movement per round of: 100lbs kettlebell swings, light tire flips, toes to bar

Trap bar farmer carries (strapped) – 135, 225, 315, 405, 315 for distance

Calf raises x leg press: 5x10

Dynamic Upper (DU) 1

Strict press - Ramped to 115x8

Banded Pin press (bar at nose-level) – 95lbs + band, 10x2 EMOM

Some grenade toes to bar

50ln EZ bar curl, 25lb plate raises, tricep bands – 5x10